Pavel, as well as, for example, the Chief of the General Staff of the Army of the Czech Republic, Karel Řehka, highlighted the role of diplomacy and said that it is necessary to invest in it.
“In recent years, unfortunately, it has become customary for any speech on foreign policy and security to begin with the statement that the world we live in is becoming less safe and less predictable. I can’t start otherwise. The existing conflicts are still deepening and new ones are being added,” stated Pavel.
According to him, the international security situation is influenced, for example, by disinformation, rapid technological development, polarized societies or the growing assertiveness of some powers and terrorist organizations.
Time is running out for Russia, it doesn’t look like the Ukrainians will prevail. Paul is talking about action
“The destabilization of the international order is visible almost everywhere. Frozen conflicts are waking up, coups in African countries, especially in the Sahel, are causing increasing concern,” added the president, referring to the renewed conflict in the Caucasus and the war in the Gaza Strip.
According to the president, Russia is far from defeated and it is necessary to continue to support the attacked Ukraine. “A possible success of Russia in Ukraine would be our joint failure,” Pavel reminded, as he had done many times in the past.
Lipavský: We have to explain our positions to Asia and Africa
Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský (Pirates) expressed himself similarly in the opening speech of the conference. According to him, the appetite of revived Russian imperialism, which is trying to subjugate Ukraine, goes far beyond the western borders of this country.
“Terrorism in its most heinous form threatens once again to plunge the Middle East into a vortex of conflict. We are watching a growing assertive China, climate changes that affect the whole world, to an increased extent on the poor countries of Africa,” calculated Lipavský.
“The resistance of the international system to the influence of those who want to change or destroy it will also depend on whether we will be able to explain our positions to the countries of Africa and Asia,” added the head of Czech diplomacy.
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According to Pavel, a diplomatic solution must always take precedence over a possible military solution, and Czech diplomacy needs to be developed and invested in.
“I am convinced that diplomacy must always precede military solutions, and only when these options are exhausted, then comes the solution by force,” said the president.
“Ensuring our security or professional diplomacy is not free and requires adequate resources. I see the investment in its modernization and strengthening as an investment that will pay off for us in the future,” he added.
Pavel also praised the Czech Republic’s current interest in a number of African countries that we “needlessly left at the mercy of Russian and Chinese influence” and the current effort to offer them an alternative.
Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) is currently on a week-long foreign trip to Africa, where Russia is also trying to promote its long-term interests.
Řehka: The Russians are not that good, the EU is that bad
“You can’t develop business anywhere if you don’t have ties there, you can’t operate somewhere without diplomacy. You cannot deter opponents without diplomats. Diplomacy is extremely important for us soldiers in all directions,” added Karel Řehka, head of the Czech army.
According to him, due to this interconnectedness, it is necessary to invest not only in the army, but also in diplomacy, for example.
At the same time, however, he partially criticized the EU’s overall foreign policy, of which we are a part, and its insufficient activities, for example, in security-volatile Africa.
In this context, he recalled Russian tendencies in the region, for example in Nigeria, which, according to him, historically did not have much connection with the Soviet Union. But he also touched on the war in Ukraine.
“The Russians are not gaining that influence there, in my opinion, because they are so good, but because we are so bad there, we as the European Union,” said Řehka.
The need to take various diplomatic steps to suppress or prevent the influence of the world’s authoritarian powers in some regions was also recognized by Pavel when he spoke positively of the European Commission’s recommendation to start accession negotiations with Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Moldova.
The granting of candidate country status to Georgia was also recommended. And this despite not meeting some criteria.
Pavel: Someone else will fill the vacant space left
“I consider the decision to be absolutely correct. Those countries need to see some hope in the available horizon, because otherwise we can lose them very easily. Russia, China or other actors could acquire them,” the president pointed out.
“It is not appropriate to look at whether the countries are sufficiently prepared, but what could happen if we don’t. We see it not only in the Balkans, but also elsewhere in the world. Wherever we leave a space free, it will immediately be filled by someone else, someone who is not friendly to us,” admitted Pavel.
According to him, Europe lacks a certain degree of pragmatism in this matter.
“We are focused on 100% fulfillment, while the others are bulldozing. We cannot wait to become attractive to those countries, we must show them that we are better partners for them. We will not do this by hesitating, but we must make quick pragmatic decisions,” Pavel appealed for greater diplomatic activity.